Thick and Beefy Danish Goulash

4.86 from 14 votes

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Thick and Beefy Danish Goulash is a hearty family favorite, full of tender beef chunks in rich, dark gravy. Cozy comfort food never tasted so divine!

Danish Goulash beef and carrots in a bowl and on a spoon

Thick and Beefy Danish Goulash

This Goulash recipe originally hails from Hungary, and is traditionally made with stew meat, root vegetables like carrots, and lots of savory seasonings in a dark, rich sauce. Now, some of you may be scratching your heads, because there’s another favorite type of Goulash (also called American Goulash) which includes ground beef and pasta noodles (think homemade Hamburger Helper). There are dozens of delicious variations and in the end, there’s no wrong answer to how you want to prepare a warm, nourishing Goulash dinner.

My husband ate Goulash a lot when he was living in Denmark. He loved the tender chunks of beef swimming in dark, savory and creamy gravy. Over the years I tried to perfect that dark color and flavor, but it wasn’t until I added a few shakes of dark soy sauce that I finally achieved the rich flavor he loved. It may not actually be what the Danes use to darken it up but it works! And the result is a velvety rich swoon-worthy gravy.

Suggestions for This Recipe

  • Danish Goulash can be made easily in the Crock Pot! On the stove top, just sear your beef on all sides, making sure it’s a nice crusty brown. Then throw it in the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients and cook for four to six hours.
  • Use some cornstarch and water mixture to thicken up the sauce before serving.
  • We also love the convenience of the Instant Pot Try our Instant Pot Beef Goulash . Try it and enjoy dinner in no time!
  • We love to serve Danish Goulash over mashed potatoes, but it would be delicious on buttered rice or thick slices of sourdough toast.
  • Turn this recipe into a beef stew by adding some cut up potatoes. Delish!
  • Leftovers can easily be frozen and stored in a freezer safe bag or container for up to three months. To reheat, thaw completely in the refrigerator, then warm on the stove top.
  • Goulash can be a gluten-free dish with the substitution of a few ingredients. Use gluten free soy sauce, dry onion soup mix, and beef broth for a delicious, gluten-free goulash.

More Comfort Food Recipes

Try these other beef recipes and you’ll have an arsenal of dinner ideas that will keep you and your family’s stomachs full and warm all winter long!

How to Make Thick and Beefy Goulash

Danish Goulash beef and carrots in a bowl and on a spoon

Thick and Beefy Danish Goulash

4.86 from 14 votes
Thick and Beefy Danish Goulash is a hearty family favorite, full of tender beef chunks in rich, dark gravy. Cozy comfort food never tasted so divine!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Danish, Hungarian
Servings 8




  • Braise beef in oil until just brown on all sides.
  • Remove beef from skillet and set aside.
  • Add onions to skillet and saute until onions become clear and tender
  • Transfer beef to a large pot* and add onion soup mix, beef broth, paprika, Worcestershire, and dark soy sauce (optional). 
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. If you want the beef to be really tender, simmer for even longer. 
  • About 20 minutes before serving, add carrots and simmer until ready to serve. 
  • Right before serving, add cornstarch to water and stir until smooth.
  • SLOWLY stir cornstarch mixture into the goulash until reaching desired consistency (you want it to be like a thin gravy consistency). Add beef broth to thin out or more cornstarch to thicken.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste before serving. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or toast.
  • *You can also throw everything in a crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 512kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 30gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1101mgPotassium: 1206mgFiber: 6gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5550IUVitamin C: 52mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 3mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. 5 stars
    I Made this for our family game night, everyone loved it! I used a little bit of cooking wine to deglaze the pan, beef consomme instead of beef broth and soy sauce; my gravy was very dark and delicious. And just for fun, I threw some parsnips in with my carrots, which when my grandma ate one happened to trigger a memory she had about her grandma 🥰 I would also highly recommend soaking toasted buttery crusty bread in the sauce. That was my favorite part, I wished I didn’t put so many mashed potatoes on my plate and just ate the soaked toast with the sauce.

    1. Hello! I am going to make this tonight for NYE! I’m using a crockpot… can I throw carrots in at the same time as meat or will they get to soggy? Should I wait a bit to add them? Figured I’d ask and see if somebody would get back in time! 😂 HAPPY NEW YEAR

      1. I am so sorry we didn’t get back to you in time! We were spending time with family over the holidays. What did you end up doing?

  2. I didn’t read all of the comments but perhaps beef consommé would get you that dark gravy flavor that you were looking for without using the soy. I have this recipe on my list to try. Thank you.

    1. That is a great idea– that would definitely give it a deeper, richer flavor! Thanks for the suggestion!

    2. Kitchen Bouquet is a liquid my mother always used to make her gravy darker I used it for years too it is very dark and it makes your gravy beautiful Restaurants use it

  3. 4 stars
    I made this and it was delicious. Instead of using the Dark Soy sauce, I used 1/4 teaspoon of Cinnamon. The Soy sauce is salty but the Cinnamon neutralizes the sweetness of all the carrots and you already have a salty flavor from the Onion Soup mix. Plus the cinnamon enriches the color.

  4. Being a “beginner cook” my two issues are: How much oil was I to use to braise the beef and is it supposed to be a true braise? Secondly, when were you supposed to add the onions to the pot? I ended up putting them in there right away, since I prefer a very soft onion for texture.

    1. You only need a couple Tablespoons of oil to braise the beef. Yes, you definitely want to add the onions to the pot. You did it right. How did it turn out for you?

  5. My Danish mother makes this all the time – I tend to invite myself over for dinner when I know she is making it and when I had my baby, she cooked up a big pot of it for me so I had something good to eat in those early days when you can barely find time to think let alone eat.

    In Australia we have a product called “Parisian Essence”. It gives the gravy a really rich colour and adds just slightly to the taste. If you have something similar in the US it would be worth trying.

    1. Thank you so much for those suggestions — I will have to try out “Parisian Essence” I have never of that before.

      1. Yes, I believe it is very close to “Kitchen Bouquet” here in the states. It doesn’t add a lot of flavor, but just a little bit will add a deep, rich color. It’s a vegetable and herb concentrate.

  6. That sounds delicious, but is not Danish goulash. You need an original:

    1kg Beef stew
    50g butter
    2T L salt
    2dl coffee boiled (strong Nescafe)
    4dl cream
    2 dl tomato paste
    ½dl of liquor (aquavit), or grain

  7. We made something similar when we were in the camps in Siberia. We used reindeer meat, it’s all we had. Everyone in factory 17 loved it, because we only had meat once in 2 weeks. We made military vehicles that didn’t work, but it was hard work so we were always hungry. This made everyone happy.

  8. Hi Nicole– Thank you! Yes, you can definitely add potatoes, and YES, Crock Pot also works great 🙂 Hope this helps!

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